Readout Integrated Circuit (ROIC) for High-Rate Tracking of Energetic Threats
The persistent surveillance infrared imaging systems deployed on USAF air- and space-borne platforms typically employ staring focal plane array (FPA) technology, which despite their large formats, have insufficient pixel bandwidth and frame rates to characterize small, energetic, fast-moving objects. To satisfy the need to image and track energetic threats, in Phase I, a radiation-hardened SOI CMOS readout integrated circuit (ROIC) will be designed. Leveraging well-characterized ROIC pixel and control circuit intellectual property (IP) design cores, a High Energy Event Tracking (HEET) ROIC design will be realized. When hybridized to a detector material, the HEET ROIC integrates the functions of a conventional video-rate staring IRFPA with a time-resolved detector, integrating threshold-based, time-of-arrival threat detection and tagging information at the pixel level. In Phase I, the scalable, radiation-hardened ROIC will be designed using the proven ROIC design cores, and the design will be simulated and readied for fabrication at a domestic CMOS fab. The design will include a high-speed 14-bit analog-to-digital-converter (ADC) and a serial programming interface (SPI). In Phase II, the HEET ROIC will be fabricated, characterized, hybridized with a suitable detector array, and the ROIC"s energetic threat-tracking and low-noise staring modes of operation will be demonstrated. BENEFIT: The transient event capability added to the staring, imaging mode of an ROIC has widespread application. Applications including threat warning systems for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Other applications include active (ladar)/passive imaging, tracking, surveillance, and charged particle detection. Other applications include medical sensors and vertex detectors for use in high-energy physics.
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